Ewa is the Executive Director of the Python Software Foundation, the non-profit behind Python. We discuss her own background, the growth of Python and the PSF, and new developments in the Python community.
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Will Vincent 0:05
Hi, Welcome to another episode of Django chat. This week, we're joined by Eva Jodlowska. From the Python Software Foundation. I'm Will Vincent joined as always by Carlton Gibson. Hi, Carlton.
Carlton Gibson 0:14
Will Vincent 0:16
have Yes, Eva, welcome to the show.
Ewa Jodlowska 0:18
Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited. I think this is the first time I've met you both. So I'm really excited to chat with you more and talk about the PSF.
Will Vincent 0:26
Yeah. And I think they'll give us a chance to talk a little bit by proxy about the Django Software Foundation, which I'm on and Carlton works for. So that's really great. So maybe so quickly, your executive director, what does that mean? And then we want to get into how you came to this role at the head of the PSF.
Ewa Jodlowska 0:43
Yeah, absolutely. So executive director, I mean, there's a lot of hats that are involved. But as an overview, it's pretty much oversight of all of our programs, managing our staff, as well as working with our board of directors to ensure that we're following our strategic plan or whatever kind of plan is, is at our feet.
Will Vincent 1:02
And then the PSF is a nonprofit. Yes. Like Genco?
Ewa Jodlowska 1:05
Exactly. So the PSF is a 501, c three nonprofit in the US. And we are comprised of board of directors who are volunteers, and now eight of us that are paid staff.
Will Vincent 1:19
Wow, that's amazing. And then how long have you been there was a u word? as a consultant, and then full time role? Maybe we can dive into, you know, how did you find yourself? In your current position?
Ewa Jodlowska 1:29
Yeah, absolutely. It's definitely a unique road, I don't think there was any clear path forward to where I am today. So it's always really interesting when people ask me, so how did you become executive director? Well, in 2008, I started working for Python, as a meeting planner, as a contractor for a company that I worked outside of Chicago here in Illinois, where I'm located. Over time, I decided I was going to move to Denmark and try my hand at a master's degree in computer science. So then, the PSF was, you know, still excited about keeping me onboard for Python. So they asked if I wanted to do a part time, so I did for a little bit. And that lasted a couple years, maybe not even a full year. Before, you know, not just me, but everyone kind of involved realize that we really needed a full time position to help with Python, because that was around 2012, which was, in my opinion, probably the first year where Python really blossomed to the size that it is today, when we were in Santa Rosa, California, Santa Rosa, Santa Clara, California. So then I joined the PSF. And then I became an official employee at around that time, and I worked full time, the administrator that used to work for the PSF stepped away. So it was like a part time position that I added into my position. So that kind of got me involved into the PSF side of things, not just Python. So that's when I really learned more about, you know, the whole ecosystem and the community and how it's like working with board of directors. So that was a really interesting, interesting transition for me, because it opened up so many other areas of the role that really interested me, that wasn't just Python, if that makes sense. And over time, I became the director of operations after we hired on some staff. And then, I believe last year, or, gosh, I can't believe I don't remember this, I should remember such a great milestone in my life. But a couple years ago, I became the executive director. Yeah, it all blurs together over time, for sure. So it's been more than 10 years at this point in time.
Carlton Gibson 3:39
That's amazing. So I have it in my head that you you're like kind of responsible for the driving the fundraising effort. Is that
Ewa Jodlowska 3:49
actually, it's kind of really exciting question to bring up because as of Monday, last week, we have our first ever director of resource development. So that is now the person that's going to be in charge of our fundraising. And of course, the executive director and the board of directors are always still involved to some capacity. And it will always be my responsibility in the end on how our staff delivers. But we're really excited to have someone kind of spearhead that effort, because that also opens up the door for not just corporate fundraising, but also grant fundraising. You know, all the all the different things we could do with donation drives, it just, we're no longer restricted on the resources that we put for us on that effort, which is really
Carlton Gibson 4:33
exciting. One thing that, you know, think just think thinking about the Django environment, we're obviously much smaller. And you know, we have a couple of fellows. I'm part time, Mercy's full time. But beyond that, it's funding Django girls funding the Django cons. And then it's kind of like, what would we do to bring money into Django and then what would we need it for? And one of the things is sustainability, but you know, to look at Python PSF and see what the PSF is doing. It's like, well, you can actually get out there and really push push to bring him on sustainability
Ewa Jodlowska 5:05
is, is a large topic that I'm sure we can spend just an hour talking about that in itself. You know, to me, the biggest thing is yes, we can fund for I mean, William and I were just talking about, you know, funding one off projects, and those are all great, but to have the structure in place of the staff that can actually support managing that kind of work, and making sure it's done efficiently and effectively, has really helped us, you know, to build from the ground up to be able to handle all that stuff, which I think has been very beneficial for the staff,
Will Vincent 5:37
especially grants. You mentioned those I mean, so Carlton has helped lead we've done Google has a Summer of Code and a season of docs. For last couple years. I think I know, we've gotten a couple other grants. But we don't do a lot of that in part because we don't think to apply and there is that management capacity on top of it, you know, they are giving you money for a reason, and they want something to show for it. So, and actually crossing maybe you could mention, I mean, I feel like your Summer of Code work is completely hidden from people, most people have no idea that you do anything on that, to be honest. Yeah, I
Carlton Gibson 6:11
mean, so what do I do that there's an application process that takes quite a lot of time to put in, that's not the hardest bit, the hardest bit is then going through the many applications and try and we you know, we have capacity to mentor one or two people each year. And that's but you know, we might have 100 applications. So you've got to try and do justice for those. And then working with them. And, you know, Maris has worked with Sage who did the JSON field. previous years. And I've worked with mentees and, you know, we get into a
Will Vincent 6:44
real project, not just small,
Carlton Gibson 6:46
like, I mean, the cross DB Jason field is a major feature like that's a big thing. Hopefully this year, we're going to get a Redis back end and core unit. these are these are important things. And historically, Google is historically good Google Summer of Code has been a big thing. But it's not. It's not. It's not free. You know, it takes quite a lot of effort to put that together. And that's kind of the well, that's the trick isn't it is how do we how do we manage that on a volunteer basis? I mean, I can put I'm paid as a fellow, but I can't put so much time into it, because I meant to be managing the framework. So you know, that's one thing I kind of wanted to discuss with you. What was the sort of the non code side of the PSF? And lessons that we might learn for the DSF? from that? Yeah, I mean, because it's not just about the software.
Ewa Jodlowska 7:37
Absolutely. I think that Carlton, you, you have a great setup with how you're supporting, you know, mentors and mentees and all that. And, and I feel like, you know, the PSF also participates on behalf of Python for Google Summer of Code. And our volunteers do a great job of that I feel it's always about building a balance between, you know, how you're spending your work, supporting volunteers, managing volunteers, and actually doing the work that you're supposed to be doing outside of that. So we're kind of in this, we're also growing in that aspect. And I know that, you know, for you all, it might not seem that way, because you seem to describe the PSF as a much bigger entity. But we do take a lot of things from you all, like for example, the the fellow role is something that inspired the PSF to recently help see Python higher. We're calling it a developer in residence. And so recently, Google gave us a funding to hire that position for a year. And we hope that during that year, we can do additional fundraising to kind of help sustain that role. But you know, it'd be great to provide that support for C Python to help manage some of the work for volunteers and to guide volunteers on the work that needs to be done help, you know, create a roadmap for Python as it might be, which is something that we've been lacking or at least lacking in the visibility of to the rest of the world, if that makes sense.
Carlton Gibson 9:02
Yeah, I mean, communicating it's a big thing. Like what Merrison I do our best to join, communicate with the rest of the community, but like, literally, sometimes it's just merited I sweeping the floor in the closet.
Will Vincent 9:16
Yeah, well, that's why the roll exists, because it's the call the things that wouldn't get done. And you know, since since you've been there, Carlton Tim before, I mean, Django has largely hit its all its dates. I mean, 3.2 comes out next week, next week when we record, but you know, it's a reason why you and Marius are paid. And you know, it's not all. Not all the fun stuff you'd want want to do after a full day of programming.
Carlton Gibson 9:39
Yeah, no, I think that's true. I think that's true.
Will Vincent 9:42
I wanted to ask about so the that new position, Eva. So your nonprofit Django Software Foundation is a nonprofit, so we're not allowed to directly pay for code. For example, Carlton is a community manager. How do you guys work around that with something like a dedicated programmer position, or at least that's been our understand Have a nonprofit in the US.
Ewa Jodlowska 10:02
Oh, that's interesting. So we definitely do. We definitely pay for code, I guess. I mean, so if we look at the grants that we've received for pi p eyes, let's use that as an example. Because that's, you know, the warehouse. Launching warehouse code was definitely paying someone through a grant to do that, which is definitely within our within our rights as a 501. c three. So I'd be interested to hear more of where that restriction comes from, for you all
Will Vincent 10:32
basically been passed down through. Frank, our previous president was had that fully on board. So maybe we need to talk when I talk to our attorney, because that I mean, Carlton, that rings a bell for you, right? I
Carlton Gibson 10:43
mean, so Okay, so, yeah, so explicitly, Maurice and I are community managers. And whilst we were allowed to contribute as volunteer contributors, the DSF does not contract us to write software. I don't know about? You know, I don't know, I don't know the legalities of that.
Will Vincent 11:00
I'll look into that after this podcast. I mean, it's not on the surface. Crazy. And it's quite possible that we had it wrong, or it's changed. But certainly, it would make things easier if neither of those is true.
Ewa Jodlowska 11:11
Well, I mean, we're, I'm sure Frank has some good reasoning for that to be there. So I'd love to learn more about it. Maybe we need to have another podcast in the future where where we get together as a group and discuss that. But I do know that, you know, the, the roles that we're hiring for are also along the lines of community manager, project manager. But that's mainly because that's what we need. But to hire developers in the future, once that structure is in place. That's definitely something on our radar. So I'd love to hear more about it if we're not supposed to do.
Will Vincent 11:41
Well, one of our new board members is a former lawyer. So we'll look into that. I mean, being a US nonprofit, too, I mean, that maybe we can talk about how international both groups are. So our current president is based outside the US. She's based in Africa. So that sometimes has some issues. Like I think my, you know, the US address is used for filling out the nonprofit form. So I guess I say that as a way to maybe you could talk about how global the PSF is, I mean, you're in Chicago, but Python and the PSF is very global.
Ewa Jodlowska 12:11
Yeah, we do have a board of directors from all over the world. Right now we have one in Australia, we have some in Europe, we have one in Zimbabwe, which also does come with financial sanctions, especially for the PSF, which is a US nonprofit, you know, cannot send we cannot send money to certain sanction countries around the world, which could be one of the obstacles. You know, as a US organization, we also probably can't hire someone that's outside of the US, at least not easily. So we do probably, you know, look to contract, you know, if we were to hire Ritz Carlton next round, we probably would contract with Carlton versus hiring them on as an as an actual employee of the PSF. Because you can get benefits living outside of the US and whatnot,
Will Vincent 12:57
and is based in Zimbabwe, actually. Okay, she's, but she's not paid. So
Ewa Jodlowska 13:01
yeah, well, our directors are not paid either. We have staff that is all within the US at this point in time. And the director, sorry, the residents, developer and residents and some other roles that we're looking to fill, you know, if folks come from other countries to apply for those will definitely take them in consideration just as equally as someone as from within the US just hire them differently. So it's, so it's all legal and and by IRS rules.
Carlton Gibson 13:32
It's curious, isn't it? Because we're all this kind of software geeks? We don't, you know, and then there's this whole legal layer on top of like, Oh, we actually we've got to do it this way. We've got to do it now.
Ewa Jodlowska 13:42
Well, it's funny that you mentioned that because even you know, when I first started, we did have Curt v. Kaiser, who was also with a PSF for over 10 years and retired a couple years ago. And he was like our first accountant, accountants a light, I guess we can call it. Because once we then, you know, transition to a full accounting staff, which there are now three people working at different time capacities. We're really dialing into those restrictions and policies, and it could really add up. So for example, we're going through our first financial audit this year, which is something that you actually, you know, often to experience which when people hear being audited, they're like, why would you want to opt in for that. But as a nonprofit, you have to go through that profit through that process in order to be able to apply for certain grants that are funded by government organizations.
Carlton Gibson 14:31
So you said that we will and I like the PSF is so much bigger, it really is.
Will Vincent 14:39
Thinking about we were talking about before we started, I mean, so DSF accounting, so I'm the treasurer, and I work with Katherine, who helps me but it's, you know, we just we just do it on our own. I mean, it's basically we pay Carlton Mario's. We give grants to conferences. We pay the legal filing to be a nonprofit. And that's about it. First of all, you know, most of our hosting stuff is donated, and almost all of it and sometimes things happen there. There was something with Rackspace last year where they were doing things and but we're fortunate that it's largely, we are a dedicated volunteer ops team that handles that. But it's Yeah, it has strains. But it's incredibly simple. So like our accounting statement is, yeah, we don't have three accountants, though, certainly, I'd love to not have to do that part of the game, you'd like three accountants. I mean, it's it's literally we write a check to Boris and, and Carlton and, you know, a couple recurring things, and then one offs for conference sponsorships. That's, you know, the, I should say that the entire budget is under $200,000 a year. So
Ewa Jodlowska 15:49
ours, probably by the end of this year will be more than five, or will probably be around 5 million. So I think we're a little bit a little bit bigger in that aspect. And that's probably why all the accountings, all the additional accounting tasks are needed.
Carlton Gibson 16:03
Right, so can I ask, Where does that money come from? Is it corporate sponsorships or individual income? individual? members? That's a great question.
Ewa Jodlowska 16:10
And so I think, a large portion of that I have to account for our financial reserve, which has been a really big topic, especially since the pandemic hit. So since 2008, when we experienced almost bankruptcy, I guess you could say, because of the, you know, the market situation back then, the PSF really noted that, hey, most of our revenue comes from an in person event, which is, you know, really dependent on socio economic factors happening around us. So let's make sure we have a financial reserve in place. So in case another market crash happens in case, you know, XYZ happens, we can still continue our operations through that difficult year. And my Oh, my Am I really glad that that was in place for when 2020 happened, because six weeks before Python, us all of a sudden, you know, you're canceling the event, scraping all your contracts for any kind of fees or legal implications that you you need to prepare for, and just crossing your fingers that you don't lose any money on it.
Carlton Gibson 17:15
And at that point, you're on the hook for everything exactly.
Ewa Jodlowska 17:17
So we now have at least a year and a half worth of operations that we can pay for in that financial reserve. So that, you know, we especially knowing that we've almost now needed it twice in at least in my history of being with the PSF, which is only a half of the PSF existence, it's definitely something that you know, I for one will make sure the PSF always takes consideration for and hopefully all future board directors do as well. But outside of that, we have, you know, our corporate sponsors, which is definitely the majority of the funding, as well as individual grants that we've received. So if we look at if anyone peaks, and maybe we can include a link in the podcast later on for when it's published to our annual report, if you look at it, a lot of the chunks goes to packaging and pie. A lot of funding has come in, from CCI recently, as well as the Mozilla open source support office has funded a lot of the work. And when you receive you know, money for 300 $400,000 worth of work in one year, that's going to be a substantial part of your budget for revenue.
Will Vincent 18:29
Yeah, reserves is. So that's something as treasurer and on the board, we think a lot about as well. So we have that that was something Frank Wiles the previous president was very good and focused on so we have a year's worth, but at the same time, so it'd be that should be more but we also are not as tied to an event in the same way that you are we have, there's the definite which Jeff Triplett, who's worked with Python is on that provides funds and we have had a number of issues around Django con Europe, in particular, going virtual, and as you say, all those costs that are borne by individuals. So we've had the board has had to do a number of things around that. But we're because I guess we're smaller and more flexible. It's not as big a concern, but it's still the concern. And you know, that's one of the big things is I would like us to get a year and a half sounds good. Two years sounds better, you know, both in case something happens, but also hopefully Python doesn't go away. But if Django ever goes away, which it will you know that that's a graceful decline. It's not just, you know, boop, like we're done and so we need to have funds to handle that.
Ewa Jodlowska 19:34
Will Vincent 19:37
Carl's on your face right now. I
Carlton Gibson 19:38
mean, I do I'm thinking we're gonna maintain Django till the heat death of the universe. So then like,
Will Vincent 19:47
there's this Buddhist thing you like stare at dead bodies and watch them dissolve to like think it's coming anyway. So that's something a concern that we have to can you guys talk
Carlton Gibson 19:59
this talk about Pi Pi?
Will Vincent 20:00
Well, yeah, actually, it was a very quickly just so Python versus PSF. So in Django, there's a Django developers list, and they do their thing. And the DSF has no direct control over what they do. So we can't tell them to put a feature in. Those are very separate. I believe it's similar with Python. Can you just go over that distinction?
Ewa Jodlowska 20:21
Yeah, absolutely. So I guess before I go, can you tell me does the DSF own any trademarks? For Django,
Will Vincent 20:25
it owns the Django trademark copyright. And that's basically it. So something else we periodically have to do is go in and force that. But yeah, it's very rare.
Ewa Jodlowska 20:34
Absolutely. It's same for the PSF. So yeah, I guess in that sense, I mean, overall, if, you know, all developers decided to really go against, you know, the policies and, and good work that we've been putting forward, then that can always come into play. But we have just like similar to, to the developers list, we have now the steering Council, which precedes the BD FL model, which I'm really excited about, because that has really opened up the door to have a, you know, structured partnership alongside with the PSF. So we can work with them to eight not only support the work that they need to be doing, but then once that work is kind of itemized, and let's say, you know, prioritize, then we can help fundraise for that work. So there. So they're supported in that capacity, which is really exciting, and partially why the developer and residents is is going to be published soon, hopefully, by the end of this week.
Will Vincent 21:31
I'm thinking about that, you know, big companies and copyright. And Carlton, I'm blanking on this. Well, so. So the Django project comm website, for example, that code is open source is BSD. And was it Amazon, I believe, gave us a heads up, it was either Amazon or Microsoft, that they're going to be using it with a new scan, basically, for their for some big internal site, which they're allowed to do as long as they provide attribution. But that's one of those ones were like, what is the copyright status of, you know, we had to like double check. Because, you know, while Django they can't say this is Django, but you know, the code is for that site is open source. And if someone really doesn't like what the team is doing, and they can go fork Django and maintain it, if they want to
Ewa Jodlowska 22:15
just call it something else. Yeah, same
Will Vincent 22:17
Ewa Jodlowska 22:41
Well, I think bringing up trademarks is a very interesting part of the role because I never thought that I would know so much about the legal aspect of things than I do now. And I've actually been internally kind of trying to promote the amount that we spent on trademarks, it adds to it the official like, so I don't know, if you look at an annual impact report expenses, and incomes are usually split up. And the way that you support community services is bundled up into something called programs. And I've been trying to get trademark to be bundled up into that just because we you know, technically all of the money that we're spending on trademark support and filing trademarks around the world is technically a community support system, right. Like if Python or Django is, is trademarked in whatever country, then it's just so much easier to make sure that it's reflective of the community and you know, the code that you all work so hard for, for me,
Carlton Gibson 23:40
it's the big thing that the DSF does, and the PSF is very active in similar thing is the community side and you know, things like code of conduct and inclusive D programs and all these other than without the DSF. there too, kind of play that role. The Django community for all its goodwill wouldn't be able to maintain it, I think, you know, because you'd have bad actors, and you wouldn't have the, the ability to deal with
Ewa Jodlowska 24:06
Will Vincent 24:08
you. I do want to I still want to talk about pi pi. But I wanted to first talk about why people in the Django community should be regular members of the PSF if they're not already, because on the Django side, and many people don't know this, I'll repeat it. So there's a board of seven of us, that's elected every year. And then there's around 200 individual members that anyone can be not. So you nominate someone for that. And it needs to be approved by the board and other people. But you know, if I feel like a lot of people don't know about that aspect of it, because it's you don't have to pay for it. It just puts you on the list of the 200 people who who vote on the board, who sometimes if the board can't solve something, well, we'll ask for input. I believe there's there's no doubt made the levels within the PSF
Ewa Jodlowska 24:52
Yeah. So when I first started with the PSF, that is exactly what the membership structure looked like and then over period a few years that kind of expanded to kind of open it up for people to self certify, and not just get voted in by a group of people as a way to kind of open up membership to people all over the world and to help us diversify our membership. And I think it worked fairly well. And now we have several structures, we have basic, which is just simply signing up online and saying that, you know, you want to be a PSF member. And it just adds your name to the list of 1000s of people that, you know, say that they want to be a member and support the cause, which I think is the easiest and simplest way to kind of support the PSF. Outside of that we have contributing and managing members, which then kind of breaks into the tier of folks that do vote on, you know, a board of board of director elections, as well as any kind of bylaw changes, people that we report our finances to, for example. And they are people that self certify that they spend, you know, X amount of hours on something Python related. It could even be maintaining Django, right. It could be core core libraries, third party libraries. It could be people that organize events, it could be people that organize their their monthly meetups, whatever the case may be. And then we have the Yeah,
Carlton Gibson 26:20
kinda it's it. I think it's important just to inject interject there that it's not a high bar. It's not it's only like, you know, a five hours a month or something. So if you if you're involved in any project in the Django world at all, you you reach that bar, and you can be a contributing. Yeah,
Ewa Jodlowska 26:35
exactly. And I think it's actually really cool that a member gets to vote on such things like board of elections and bylaw changes, I mean, these are things that actually impact in shape, how the PSF grow to be, you know, the board of directors are selected to help us kind of steer how that PSF boat goes along the way.
Carlton Gibson 26:55
Yeah, and then you're going to say the other,
Ewa Jodlowska 26:57
no problem. So then we have, so I'll kind of interject with our only paid layer, early period tier, and that's the supporting membership. So we kind of say that those that, for example, might not have the five hours a month to contribute to our organization, but maybe they have $99 a year. And if that's the case, then we'd love to have you as a supporting member, and they also get to vote on PSF matters, we in the future hope to kind of change that up to not just be $99. Just because $99 isn't the same value in the US as it is in Poland, for example, where I'm from, right. So we want to be able to kind of be alert of those scenarios. So hopefully in the coming year, we'll kind of change that up. But the last year is fellow members. And those are probably most similar to what you all have where we people get nominated and voted in by our fellow workgroup. And it's probably like the most prestigious tier of membership that we have.
Will Vincent 27:55
So way more complicated than
Ewa Jodlowska 27:57
it is way more healthy. I don't know when this is going to air, but it's probably not going to air mid April. Okay, so our membership drive will be over. But that doesn't mean that people shouldn't become a member. And if they ever have any questions, they could always contact me.
Will Vincent 28:09
Yeah, and actually, so speaking of membership drive, so of the dangos, $20,000, a quarter to a third of that comes from a promotion, we're gonna be doing in April with JetBrains, where for the month, you can buy pi charm and 30% off and all the proceeds go to the DSF. So that's sort of a one off that we've done for the last five or six years. And, again, because Django sort of exists to exist. That's our main, you know, one of our main funding things, right, we have that, then we have a handful of companies that are at the highest tier, but it's around, you know, I think 30 40% is individual contributors, and then are a solid 60. So it's probably not as weighted towards corporate as a lot of places. But if we needed to raise more money, obviously going corporate one way or another would be a lot easier than people. Sure. donating
Ewa Jodlowska 29:00
short. So out of curiosity is the DSF structured that corporate sponsors are also members.
Will Vincent 29:06
We don't really have that distinction. I mean, so this is actually something that Carlton is going to be working on that the board has approved is that members, they get a prominent place on the site, they have a badge they can use, but it's doesn't they they'll get a couple tweets, it doesn't much go beyond that. That's definitely something we're you know, looking at in terms of giving them more, and what that looks like. So that's something you know, Carlton, with all his time as a fellow, Carlton Carlton has been, you know, putting out 3.2, which comes out April 6, and then he's working on stripe changed all their billing. So Carlton has been having to work on our billing page. And then once he's done with that, Carlton can look at integrating with GitHub sponsors, which we've added last year, but we want to show that and then also, you know, improving the corporate member experience. So right now it's very manual, but having a so that they can log in and self serve more than they do now.
Ewa Jodlowska 29:58
That is a long to do list, Karl If you ever need any help with the sponsorship coordination, I'd be happy to kind of review or chat with you.
Carlton Gibson 30:06
Brilliant because yes, I do need help. I mean, I take on these jobs so that Marius can focus on the framework more. And he, you know, he, he, if I provide air cover doing these kinds of things, he he's got more capacity there. So that's super. But this is kind of one thing I did not really want to pick your brains about was like, you know, drive drumming up corporate sponsors and managing them. And you know that they must, because that's surely where they where the where the money is tied to get a corporate sponsor on board, it just sort of like massively dominates individual members,
Ewa Jodlowska 30:39
it really does. I mean, 65% of our revenue comes from Python, and the majority of that is sponsorship. So it's definitely a telling there, it's just now the matter of making sure we have a diverse set of programs that sponsorships can apply to, and not just Python. So for example, I'm not sure if you've seen but we recently redid our sponsorship program completely, where before, it was just PSF, and Python, and now it's PSF, Python, pi, pi, and C Python. So now we have four buckets that sponsorship goes through. So it's not just Hey, we want to make sure that the impact sponsors get is a you know, improved, especially since we're only having a virtual event this year, we want to make sure that their impact is worth their time and money. But also because it helps fund, you know, these two additional large, you know, smaller ecosystems of the Python community, which is really important.
Carlton Gibson 31:35
And so we do try and provide visibility that for, you know, I'm a corporate sponsor, I've come in don't What is it? I get my logo in all the key places is I get key mentioned, I get mentioned in the right places, that kind of thing?
Ewa Jodlowska 31:48
Yeah, that's a great question. So we, when we revamped the sponsorship program, we did obviously had to redo the Python benefits, because we've never hosted a virtual event. So we're kind of we're, you know, it's been an interesting process, we'll see how it pans out in May. But our team is, definitely has been, you know, learning all these new things that we've never had to deal with before. And part of that is what kind of benefits do we give our sponsor? So right now, it is a lot of visibility on our websites, whether it's pie pie.org, whether it's python.org, whether it's, you know, on our jobs board, jobs.python.org us.python.org, we were literally we want to make sure every aspect that we could brand we could offer to our sponsors, just because you know, sponsorship is such a large chunk of the PSF and Python sustainability.
Carlton Gibson 32:40
Yeah, I think for Django sponsors, one of the big things is hiring. If you say, you know what, you get a higher end, and you say, well, well, you know, we're sponsors of the DSF, then it's sort of like out there, you know, that's a, that's a good thing. When you're Jangan, or looking to work for a company. If they're involved in the DSF, then that's kind of absolutely a cool thing. But I think we do need to do more Well, on this, we didn't need to
Will Vincent 33:01
Well, this is like the conversation, Carlton and I have all the time. It comes down to to me to two things. One is we're all volunteers. And the second is we need a clear, it's a little chicken and egg, like, yeah, we can go raise a bunch of money. But until we know exactly what would go for, and perhaps we're wrong about paying for software. But even so, like, we don't have that clear. This is what we would do with the money. Like in the past for new features. Like we had Postgres support was added, or Postgres full text, or delta has a Kickstarter. I mean, it's it's so Junior League. So I like when I know you're sitting there saying, well, there's always things you want the PSF to be, but we're we're sitting, we're going Wow, you're so high above us in terms of all your functionality. Speaking of which, pie pie, I want to ask about that. So that's truly internet scale. And that's grown. And that's probably where a bit of the funding goes to. Could you just remind people what that is and how much it's grown in the last couple years?
Ewa Jodlowska 33:54
Yeah, so peipsi.org is, you know, pythons main, central location for Python packages and how those are distributed, whether they're corporate users or individual sharing their hobbyist projects. I think that in the most recent years, the biggest growth has been around the packaging workgroup, which is the kind of Central group that helps steer and manage private i.org to getting some grants, and that has really helped its progression over time and also show grantors the kind of success rate that this group has had with grants that they've received, they've done an excellent job with transparency, with reporting, you know, following back up with grantors, which is always a big thing, and just flat out managing the work. So that has been really successful. And honestly, we've used that success to help us kind of tell our story of other things we
Will Vincent 34:53
can do with grants, which has led to additional grants, which has been awesome. You're just making me think about the infrastructure on grant Cuz, for example, we got a $5,000 grant from Google last year, and the amount of hours that Katherine, the assistant treasurer, and I had to spend getting that money. It's almost unsustainable to keep doing it each time, like, we finally built that up. So like being a Reba and their payments, and this that the other thing. And then you know, we could definitely do a better job talking about where the money went. But there's a whole slew of grants that Django could get, if we had the time to apply for it, you know, monitor it and do all those things that you just mentioned that, you know, if they're giving you money they they have, it makes sense that they would want something back and sorting out what that is, and being able to say, here's an example of what we did in the past. Something I hope Django can do more of in the future.
Ewa Jodlowska 35:48
I think you also bring up an excellent point on on the accounting side, how much work is needed. For example, let's say we receive a grant for $300,000 that needs to hire three people, three contractors that we at that point have to tap to track their timesheets. How do we get their timesheets? Who approves their timesheets, right, all of that, if we can automate that, which our accounting staff is looking to do, that would make the process so much easier, because when peipsi.org received some of its first initial grants, that was all done manually by our by our team, which is a lot of back and forth, it's a lot of work
Carlton Gibson 36:20
that comes out of the budget. Yeah, because all volunteer time.
Ewa Jodlowska 36:24
Absolutely. So going back to pi pi, I think that it's, this will air in mid April. So I'm going to hit to something really exciting happening. But we received another corporate grant that is allowing us to spend significant amount of money in 2021 to kind of help steer a lot of the work around Python packaging and helping kind of shaped its roadmap over the next few years. So one of the things that I maybe sort of glazed over, but didn't specify more, because Python is such a up in the air kind of situation, especially for 2022, will we be able to hold a 3000 person conference? Who knows? We are really looking to diversify our revenue streams and pie is one of those focuses, seeing what kind of functionality we can import import, what kind of functionality we can add to, you know, I'm sure it will involve some sort of import, what kind of functionality can we add into pipe ai.org, that makes it easier for corporations to use and things like that. So that is definitely something that's in, in our focus this year, just because it is such a grand tool for our community, on all sorts of levels, you know, not just individual users and open source projects, but also corporate users
Carlton Gibson 37:44
who wait, we talk about it all the time. packager packaging is the one sort of last bad bit, you know, it's the one thing we've got to resolve and Python needs a better story than, you know, the various competing options, and none of them quite interact, and how do you get it installed? If that, if that could be a smooth, glossy story, then Python really would have the full tale to tell I think,
Ewa Jodlowska 38:07
yeah, and I do think a lot of that will come from collaborative efforts between paid staff and volunteers. You know, all of all of these great ecosystems and projects have grown kind of beyond the capability of a volunteer to manage and run. So we're really excited that the PSF is kind of, you know, learning a page from from the DSF book and putting money towards supporting those, you know, community managers, project managers, all that good stuff. And we hope to be able to sustain that in the long run.
Carlton Gibson 38:39
Yeah, I mean, just working day to day, you know, I see what's going on in the Python world it seen, that's all great. But I'm working on Django every every day. Well, you know, I only do it part time, but working on Django every week. It's like, this just wouldn't happen. If Maris and I weren't there or somewhat, you know, if they weren't fellows, it just wouldn't happen. And then, you know, Django would be unmaintainable Yeah.
Will Vincent 39:02
Well, I know, we're coming up a little on time. Are there any last things you want to mention? I did want to ask just as a last question. So I see sitting in the end is the DSF. So many people doing kind of unseen work. I'm, I'm sure they're similar people in the Python PSF world. And I'm curious what what sort of roles are those that, you know, people who are doing unsung work that they don't get the publicity for?
Ewa Jodlowska 39:25
So one person that I'm sure I think William you mentioned, you're going to be interviewing he and in an upcoming episode, but they are a huge contributor to not just the paid work that they do for the PSF but also all the volunteer work that they contribute to pi and pi da in some sorts. They you know, the extra time and energy that they have, they spend on tasks, making it easier for people on pi or pi pa you know, and it's it's incredible as well you know, the rest of our staff and there are so many of them. volunteers. I mean, we could sit just for an hour talking about that, you know, all of all of the programs that I talked about whether it's pi, whether it's Python, all of those take hundreds of volunteers to happen.
Will Vincent 40:09
Yeah, well, I know that I talked to eat because they have office hours or did in the past. And python.org is the Django site, which is open source. And I had a question about how the markdown is being implemented and had a really good conversation, which is really open and wonderful to do for the community. I mean, no direct benefit. Well to eat,
Ewa Jodlowska 40:31
I know that for a long period of time, it only supported restructured text, and then all of a sudden it had markdown. So I wonder if that conversation, you know, it helped that happen, which I thank you for that. Personally, I appreciate markdown more.
Will Vincent 40:43
Yeah, no, it didn't. So I have a, I have a site, learn Django calm to plug it that uses markdown in the back end. And there's a there's a package being used that does rst and markdown on python.org. And I was asking, why didn't you just do it raw? Basically, it was to support both of those. And then of course, I was able to ask Jeff Triplett, because he did the early version. Hey, Jeff, Why'd you do that? And so it all becomes very, very, very small.
Ewa Jodlowska 41:07
It helps to know the right people.
Will Vincent 41:09
Yeah, at this point, well, that's you know, Carlton, if I have a question on Django, I just ping him at this point. So
Carlton Gibson 41:15
Unknown Speaker 41:17
your your PX
Ewa Jodlowska 41:18
anymore. You're just like Carlton.
Will Vincent 41:24
Read the docs, look up the docs all the time, because they've forgotten to so I'm sure there does come this, you know, you sort of like look around, you're like, nobody knows the answer. Like, I guess I need to do some original thinking for a change instead of just googling. Anyways, Carlton, did you have anything else you wanted to know, I
Carlton Gibson 41:41
just, I just have to say, I'm always struck by the by the way, you managed to coordinate the PSF and all the great work you're doing and I really wanted to pick your brains and, you know, get some insight and thoughts had to? Well, I definitely hope that things we can things we can steal on the smaller scale.
Ewa Jodlowska 42:00
And I'm happy to have a chat offline at any point in time. I like the fact that within our community, it's you know, open source, but it's not just open source code. It's open source information, and how we can make these groups and projects be sustainable in the long run. So I'm happy to talk anytime,
Carlton Gibson 42:15
super, thank you for that offer. That's amazing.
Will Vincent 42:17
And I really need to sort out that legal question, you really have you thinking about that. So Carlton to it's like, yeah,
Carlton Gibson 42:24
if we, if we could in fact, fund people to do development, then? You know, there would be
Will Vincent 42:29
there's precedent, I'm doing it. Yeah.
Carlton Gibson 42:31
Ewa Jodlowska 42:32
we're definitely gonna have to touch base on that one offline, for sure. Yeah, Either that, or we're gonna get in trouble for saying something. I don't know.
Carlton Gibson 42:40
Yeah. We can't put the episode out. If it's, if it turns out we can't do that. That's right. Yeah.
Ewa Jodlowska 42:46
The episode that never aired.
Will Vincent 42:51
But know that that is, you know, it is true, that being a nonprofit, there are so many other things, additional things you need to do to be compliant. And, you know, so only someone who's also works in the nonprofit or runs, one can sort of understand. It's not just
Ewa Jodlowska 43:05
this is by far my favorite podcast I've ever done simply because it's more of like a therapy session than anything else people commiserate and understand.
Carlton Gibson 43:15
It's like, it's like that every week. You should
Will Vincent 43:18
really. So we have links to everything in the show notes, links to your personal Twitter, and people should listening should become Python members if they're not already, for sure. Definitely. So thank you for taking the time really appreciate it. And hopefully you'll see Python virtually or in person soon. Salt Lake
Ewa Jodlowska 43:37
City. 2020. Fingers crossed. Thank you. Trying to Yes, we're not going to do
Carlton Gibson 43:43
that I was about to say
Will Vincent 43:47
I love Salt Lake.
Ewa Jodlowska 43:48
Thank you both so much. Alright, thank
Carlton Gibson 43:50
Will Vincent 43:50
Alright, everyone, we were at Jango chat, calm chango on Twitter. We'll see you next time. Bye bye.